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(from The Gulls’ Sweetly Banked Flight)

In Brooklyn, borough of churches

and young men in undershirts,

I found her sending spiritual runners

over the sidewalks seeking the crevice

that would open the city to her,

and my feet, too, felt the throb

of the familiar terrain.

At night, she murmurs,

sleep, make love, smoke cigarettes,

her words whispered warm against my cheek,

her arms tight around my back,

the red glow from our fingers

stabbing the anarchic night at our window

to light the way to the street below

electric with adolescent obscenities,

Hey, Jesús, up yours, you mutha!

voices swallowed in the roar of trucks

and the rumble of the F train

beneath Smith Street.

We call out the window for Jesús,

the little street kid, the recylcer of hubcaps,

whom we imagine a wine bearer whose goblets

gather the sounds of the street

into a reification of that startling life

so near to our quiet bed,

a metaphor we can bend to our wishes,

knowing that its taut spring

will snap us together,

unresisting prisoners of the pulse

that sets the early summer stillness

into subtle movements

that rock the street to sleep

at dawn’s edge.


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